MEMBERS of Parliament have unanimously endorsed the upgrading of Kigosi and River Ugalla Game reserves to National Parks.
The game reserves will now be known as River Ugalla and Kigosi National Parks, respectively.
The Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Dr Khamis Kigwangala, said the change of status of River Ugalla will be advantageous, taking into account the government’s tourism promotion initiative.
He further explained that upgrading of River Ugalla will conserve the forest and wildlife ecosystem.
Dr Kigwangala said the River Ugalla game reserve of 3,865 square kilometers is being transformed into a national park will as well, and will improve fish breeding areas, in addition to boosting tourism.
He cited other benefits attached to the upgrading of River Ugalla as improvement of the socio-economic status and welfare of the people surrounding the new national park.
As for Kigosi National Park, the minister said the tourism scope had been widened and it will give tourists a greater chance for attractions of their choice.
Moreover, he said, Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA) will make close supervision and ensure it is well promoted and earn the status.
The Parliamentary Committee on Lands, Natural Resources and Tourism Deputy Chairperson, Ms Kemilembe Lwota (Special Seats-CCM) commended the move, saying it will strengthen security and promote tourism in the Southern Zone and thus improve the economy of the people in the areas.
She advised the government to set marks and boundaries of the zones, in order to avoid land conflicts with people in the surrounding areas.
The committee called upon the ministry and other responsible authorities to improve infrastructures of the new parks for a conducive investment environment, as well as easy accessibility by tourists.